Reductions make sense

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IN SPITE of Councillor Alex Hough’s plea to keep the debate concerning reducing the number of borough councillors going, I feel she has in fact ended the discussion herself in her latest letter (January 21).

She appears to agree with Conservative thinking when she writes, “If the number of councillors was reduced (which I would not argue with)” etc.

Resisting the obvious comment, I’ll confine myself to noting that the latest published figures for the financial year 2009 - 2010, as published on the council’s website, show a total payment to 27 councillors as just under £120,000; the figures for the current year will be higher because councillor allowances have risen by 3.7 per cent since then.

The allowances for the coming year will be frozen but even if the Lib Dems intend to reduce the allowances by 5 per cent or even 10 per cent, the savings made will still be modest when compared with the Conservative proposal of a reduction in the number of councillors by nine; i.e. one third.

Readers should bear in mind the fact that every voter in Eastbourne is currently represented by five elected individuals: three borough councillors, one county councillor and of course the MP, and they all cost money!

A bid to reduce the number of borough councillors in each ward from three to two makes sense in every way, need not affect efficiency, and clearly reflects coalition thinking.

Councillor Nigel Goodyear

(Meads, Conservative)

Eastbourne Town Hall.